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Some religions are anti cremation for example Catholics.
However that 10K can be made much much cheaper. It is possible to do a simple casket and a simple wake and funeral for half or less.

It's can be a terrific burden to plan a funeral, especially on the fly with no "forewarning" of bad health etc.

Some of the funeral homes are worse than others with upselling, but even if they are completely above reproach there can be a self-inflicted guilt that can lead to excessive spending.

A few pointers, even a simple casket can look very nice with flowers. If you are using burial, don't get talked into metal or cement containers. Also if you are burying, select a funeral home close to the cemetery as they charge mileage for "delivery".

Clark Howard has had some good information on planning funerals, http://www.clarkhoward.com/news/clark-howard/family-lifestyle/pl... and recommends http://www.funerals.org/

Sorry for your loss. I do agree with not picking away at your long term savings or going into debt for this.

OP I realize it is too late for this funeral, but reading it has taught me a lot:

http://www.amazon.com/American-Way-Death-Revisited/dp/0679771867

Highly recommended since everyone will either be in or plan a funeral at some point.

We were in a similar situation with an estranged brother-in-law who died. Relatives decided to pay for cremation ($300) but are not liable for any other debts that he may owe. Relatives also decided to buy burial plot but that's not necessary. You can scatter ashes (or bury) in an old family plot if it's not located in a private cemetary. You can keep ashes at home in box provided by crematorium, or purchase urn if you want one. Costco/Sam's sell urns (and coffins) for people and pets. Note that you aren't permitted to scatter ashes in private cemetaries -- usually you're required to purchase a plot and ashes must be buried in a vault!

Hire a lawyer if you need to regarding debts. The lawyer may not charge more than a certain percentage of the deceased's worth per state regulations. So you don't have to worry about legal bills being too high. Good luck.

soundtechie said:   An Idea: (not a good idea mind you, just an idea)

Fatwallet finance has, in the past, demnded pics of some awful situation and then donated money when the pics were posted. Perhaps if you offered to post pics of the $30k house, the trailers, the army uniform, and the posh funeral home, we could gather up people willing to paypal you, say, $10 each until there's enough money in the pot to pay you for posting the pics.


I would donate the $10 if the OP agreed not to do the $10k funeral.

First off, I'm sorry for your family's loss.

Small town/middle of nowhere is expensive for funeral/cremation.

if he was full-time with benefits (i.e. health insurance) there's good odds he had group life insurance at work.

When my sis died, I *think* her funeral costs were about $7k - with the cheapest casket + the second cheapest vault. If they need a payment plan, what's the funeral home gunna do? Dig him up? They have to make arrangements.

Sorry for you loss. If he died while on the job, a lot of states have a workers compensation death benefit. It's up to $5000 for burial expenses in my state. If he died while driving and not for work, a lot of automobile insurance policies have a death benefit also.

lindylady said:   Some religions are anti cremation for example Catholics.
However that 10K can be made much much cheaper. It is possible to do a simple casket and a simple wake and funeral for half or less.

Catholics do allow cremation since the 60's or 70's.

Is it possible to self build a pine box? Is it possible to not hire funeral home? At home wake?(they did it in old days)Is it possible to have bunch of guys dig and bury and refill the grave?

Not sure what is legal and what isn't. Cremation seems cheaper since service could surely be held in a home or outside.

lindylady said:   Some religions are anti cremation for example Catholics.
However that 10K can be made much much cheaper. It is possible to do a simple casket and a simple wake and funeral for half or less.


Catholics do allow cremation now.

Yelf said:   This is where I've told my family to send me. If they want a service have it at our local church.

DIRECT OR SIMPLE CREMATION
Administration Fee
$315.00
Refrigeration of Unembalmed Body
--0--
Crematory Charges
$215.00
Transfer of Deceased to Crematory
(within 35 miles of city)
--0--
State Medical Examiners Permit
$150.00
Simple Urn
$15.00

Total of Direct Cremation Charges
$695.00

If any of my family needs burial costs covered, I would happily pay the same for them.


I spent almost the same with a family member who passed away in a nursing home and almost penniless. The funeral home director pretty much understood there was no money to be made. We did not have a service per se. We put the announcement in the local paper as required. Someone else paid $5K for a permanent spot in a mausoleum. I brought the cremains onto a plane, flown to the west coast, and we had a private quickie service.

My mom passed away a few years ago and per her choice she was cremated and my sister donated her body for medical research and when done they did the cremation and offered to return her ashes or put them in the ocean and possibly other choices.
I don't think there were any out of pocket expenses for us other then the death certificate for insurance purposes.
They picked her body up and took care of everything. My sister did a search on the internet and found this service. Her death was not expected so we weren't prepared for it.

You have to respect the wishes of the living spouse but on the other hand there has to be a way of paying for it. No way would I go into debt for it.

Well if I were theson I just would have said I didn't have the money.I'm trying to figure out why anybody who scraped there way out of poverty and left a bunch of lazy siblings behind.... Would even tell them he has mo ey in a 401k?

Have him tell tne family he applied and was denied and his credit is up to the limit and he is denied anymore.

The. He can just go and plan a simple cremation for under$1000 and the relatives can't say squat because they didn't pony up any cash. He needs to remember even if the siblings cosign... It's his credit in tne toilet when tney don't pay since he cosigned

$5.98

Seriously
Everyone that really wants a funeral and burial should be responsible to chip in. Otherwise go a cheaper route.

A funeral that is worth 1/3 of the home they live in....sounds like he will be 'living it up.'

It's not for everyone but my mom donated her body to a local medical school. No cost. They did have a service a year or so later for the families of those who donated. It's an unselfish gift that helps train doctors to help save others. Maybe your dad would have rather seen that money go to a college fund or to help his wife get by for a little while longer. So sorry for your loss.

Other than service member benefits, nothing going to be close.

Cremation....<1k. If you want to spend more, then be my guest, your family will pay for it. I suggest you call the funeral home and let them know that the 30 days will come and go. Then maybe someone will be more sensible. But it is understandable, so best wishes for your family.

If I were to be in a better financial shape, i would pick up the tab too. This is called "family". Anyways, he should ask for supports from the mom/sisters. If none is given, the he should ask to be the decision maker on the funeral ceremony. Find the alternatives for cheaper cost like some has post here.

However, if all done is done, and the son's ended up with the 10K bill. I'd say, "yes", and think to myself that....."he gave me life, 10K is the least i could do for him"... just an opinion. Sorry for the loss!!!

First suggestion is to enroll both of those sisters in staffing agencies if they are available. Not judging if they really can't find jobs as the economy is tough, but it seems implied that they are unemployed by choice. Even if they manage to front part of that bill - I'll assume it's going to be on credit. It's going to go back to having your brother-in-law pay for it in the end.

Why should your sister and brother-in-law pick up the tab for them if they are not doing their part makes no sense.

1)STOP the 10k funeral- that is insane. If they want the son to fund it then they need to decrese the cost. Maybe the son can offer 4-5k and say that's it- I'd imagine suddenly the family would pick a 5k funeral...
2)Who wanted this 10k funeral? The wife of the deceased? The worthless kids? The son? I've found that often the people with the least money are willing to splurge for something nice. If the wife of the deceased was alone in wanting this then I would be more obliged to help her out if I were the son (I mean, it is his dad and his mom we are talking about)- but if those poor kids encouraged it, I would be piiiissssed and not willing to help.

Yelf said:   This is where I've told my family to send me. If they want a service have it at our local church.

DIRECT OR SIMPLE CREMATION
Administration Fee
$315.00
Refrigeration of Unembalmed Body
--0--
Crematory Charges
$215.00
Transfer of Deceased to Crematory
(within 35 miles of city)
--0--
State Medical Examiners Permit
$150.00
Simple Urn
$15.00

Total of Direct Cremation Charges
$695.00

If any of my family needs burial costs covered, I would happily pay the same for them.


I am going to guess that you have never actually bought popcorn at the movies. You sir, should be running the United States Treasury! You are the cheapest SOB I have ever heard, and I say that with love and admiration!

As much as we would love the OP to take our rational advice, people dealing with deaths of close ones are typically in no way rational.

That is why it is important that you let people around you know how you would like to be taken care of, and provide a way for that to financially happen

In this state the Department of Transitional Assistance (Welfare Office) does provide some benefits. I think it's less than a grand but it could help. Give them a call.

lindylady said:   Some religions are anti cremation for example Catholics.
However that 10K can be made much much cheaper. It is possible to do a simple casket and a simple wake and funeral for half or less.


Really my step father was cremated and had the whole catholic funeral and everything. I grew up Catholic but never paid much attention to it.

As others have mentioned, the real problem is spending the 10k that no one seems to have that will just end up in the funeral industry's pocket.

Looks like there was just an article about cremations in the NY Times.

More at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/09/us/in-economic-downturn-surviv...

In Tough Times, a Boom in Cremations as a Way to Save Money

By KEVIN SACK

Published: December 8, 2011

As Toni Kelly battled lymphoma, first with a bone marrow transplant and then with brutal rounds of chemotherapy, she worried obsessively that her four-year struggle would destroy her family’s finances.

Lorice L. Ottenbacher, left, at Mass last week, said spiritual and financial concerns were behind her late husband's decision.

Her husband, Doug, refused to consider her pleas to stop pursuing costly therapies. But she knew that after she died, which she did on Sept. 29, there was one way she could keep from adding to the $200,000 in medical debt she would leave behind. Like a growing proportion of Americans, she said she wanted her body to be cremated.

“We did everything we could to cut down other costs, and one of the things Toni said was, ‘Let’s find out how much it costs to be cremated,’ ” Mr. Kelly said. “If there was a way we could save even $500 or $1,000, it didn’t make a difference. Her major thing was not ruining the family.”

All but taboo in the United States 50 years ago, cremation is now chosen over burial in 41 percent of American deaths, up from 15 percent in 1985, according to the Cremation Association of North America. Economics is clearly one of the factors driving that change.

The percentage of bodies that are cremated has risen steadily for years, for reasons ranging from spiritual to environmental. But a recent study shows that the increase has accelerated during the downturn, and many funeral home directors say they believe the economy is leading people to look for less expensive options.

The disposition of Ms. Kelly’s remains cost about $1,600, and that total included a death notice, a death certificate and an urn bought online. It was a fraction of the $10,000 to $16,000 that is typically spent on a traditional funeral and burial.

Family and friends remembered Ms. Kelly, a 54-year-old artist, at a simple memorial service at the golf course in Virginia Beach where Mr. Kelly works as an assistant pro and where she liked to walk their dogs. It was the first cremation on her side of the family, Mr. Kelly said.

“Neither one of us felt that the body itself was really all that important,” said Mr. Kelly, who raised two sons with his wife during their 28-year marriage. “We had no interest in being put in the ground, no need for a memorial for the whole world to see. Her concern was the financial devastation she was bringing to the family.”

Many others share that concern, according to a national telephone survey of 858 adults conducted last year by the Funeral and Memorial Information Council. It found that one-third of those who chose cremation in 2010 said cost was a primary factor, up from 19 percent in 1990.

With the cremation rate rising one-third faster than at the middle of the last decade, the cremation association projects it will pass 50 percent by 2017 (still lagging behind Canada and much of Europe and Asia). Although state cremation rates vary widely, from 13 percent in Mississippi to 73 percent in Nevada, every state has experienced an increase since 2005.

Until recently, said Michael W. Nicodemus, president of the cremation association, concerns about cost rarely entered into his discussions about cremation with families at the Hollomon-Brown funeral homes in Virginia’s Tidewater region, where he is a vice president. The rationale for cremation in the past was more typically that the family plot had become anachronistic in today’s transient society and that cremation afforded relatives and friends more time to gather from afar for a memorial service.

Today, he said, nearly half of his consultations eventually turn to worries about money, and the cremation rate at the company’s nine funeral homes has risen to 55 percent, up from 35 percent six years ago.

“People have lost money in the markets,” Mr. Nicodemus said. “Their retirements aren’t what they used to be. A lot are living off Social Security.” Some families, he said, have reversed burial plans because life insurance has lapsed or savings have been drained by uninsured medical expenses.

“We had six families to see yesterday, and all six were cremations,” Mr. Nicodemus said. “That tells me something.”

etc......

tarcapone said:   Keep in mind there is a social security death benefit. I think it is around $600 or so. Also, she should be able to start collecting survivor benefits.

Did he have any debts? When my father in law died (similar situation) we called his credit card company and they offered up front to cut the amount due in half.


They didn't do you any favors. If your father in law died with no assets, the amount to be paid to the credit card company is zero.

(If he had assets, they can get in on the probate and recover the debt there.)

OP: Please let the widow and family know that they do not need to pay the debts of the deceased.

solley said: The two daughters and the mom are looking heavily at the son to pick up the tab. While son and my sister have good jobs, they also have baby on way, reasonable mortgage, etc., etc. They don't have $10k cash...would have to raid 401(k)s or take some sort of loan to get liquid cash.

The son should feel obligated to put in as much as the sisters. Let them decide how much they can put forward, and let him match it.

The sisters will be unhappy, but this is the only way to go. Lots of people on this board are in situations where they are the only members of their family in decent financial shape, with the others being on long-term public assistance, living off people, etc. Those other family members tend to think that the one who is doing decently is as rich as Donald Trump. All you can do is live your life, let them live theirs and help a little in times of real need.

FW10001 said:   marketingmike said:   solley said:   

Funeral is modest, intentionally, but will still run about $10k.


Sorry for your loss.

Holy sh!t at the funeral cost. My wife has instructions to ship me off to the crematorium and keep my remains in a shoebox if she wants to (and to put them in the dumpster if not).

And my instructions are to salvage and donate whatever organs are possible, let the medical students practice on the remainder, and finally let the medical school handle the cremation in its crematory. And I'll be watching from above...


I looked into that too. There is a chance they will reject your body for whatever reason but we have a medical school here and if they accept you, it's free and then after a year they give the ashes back to the family and the whole thing is free. Then I want to be scattered in the woods in my favorite hunting spot. It would be awesome to have free body disposal, my last fat deal!

gaffer said:   lindylady said:   Some religions are anti cremation for example Catholics.
However that 10K can be made much much cheaper. It is possible to do a simple casket and a simple wake and funeral for half or less.


Catholics do allow cremation now.

Allow vs have a cultural stigma agaist as allowing changed in the lifetime of most Catholics being buried. I'm not saying it is totally banned I'm saying that cremation may be cheaper and everyone keeps saying cremation but there may be religious and or cultural reasons agaist it.

OP, I have a few questions before I offer any advice:
  1. Who agreed to the $10K funeral expense? Since you say "treat it as a given" that suggests that someone really wants the extravagance.
  2. Who (if anyone) actually signed the agreement for the funeral expenses?
  3. How far along are preparations? Is it still possible to back out? (I'm asking because of the negotiating leverage it would give you with the funeral home.)

donate

Pray that your father in law get an affordable proper burial.

Czechmeout said:   As much as we would love the OP to take our rational advice, people dealing with deaths of close ones are typically in no way rational.

Which is why so many people get ripped off by the industry...

I have a penniless, ailing relative. They'd decided they wanted a fancy funeral with all the trimmings and (credit to them) put aside the money to pay for it. Unfortunately, one of their children drained that account some time ago and the money is long gone. No way will it be returned either.

As a branch of the family tree who's clearly not broke we'll be expected to cover a big chunk of the funeral cost. F that. It's going to be problem I'd feel like I was writing a check to the loser who stole the funeral money - something I'd never do.

my 2 remaining grandparents passed in 2010 and i can definitively say that open casket funerals are overrated. i would much rather remember them as i last saw them alive.

If you happen to decide on cremation, do call around for several price quotes. When my father passed away I found that even cremation prices can vary a great deal. Ask for the price for a "direct cremation" with a "minimum alternative container" if you want the cheapest option. You may also wish to ask which crematory they use.

And yes, a couple of my father's bill collectors tried to con me into thinking I had to pay his debts. They gave up after about 1 year.

I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but have you considered donating the body to a medical school?

Are sure that he doesn't have some sort of life insurance? A lot of jobs and even some medical plans pay a small death benefit.

Every job I've every worked at had a $10K or $15K basic death benefit.

I think OP's biggest problem making the "$10K as a given"

Work on that, and you will come to a resolution.

Is there any reason that the other 2 sisters are not working? Are they disabled?

Will the mother be able to maintain the house by her self? Snow removal in the winter? Yard work in the summer?

Perhaps she should sell the house, and (assuming) since she agreed to the $10K funeral, use the proceeds to pay for the funeral ($30K home - $19K mortgage - $1800 realtor fees = $9,200) and move in with either of the lazy bum daughters.

I come from a a poor immigrant family, and when my grandfather died (we literally had nothing at the time), I think we paid $600 to give him the proper religious burrial. And that was including the simple wooden casket. By the religios rules, he would have had to be burried wrapped in some cloth, but NY state does not allow burrials without a casket.

I agree with others, if your bother in law pays now, it will be a never ending train, to support the ill financial decisions of people who are not in the position to make said decisions. It is one thing for him to give something on his own to his lazy/less fortunate family members, it is completely another for them to assume that he will pay up.

If all 3 siblings agreed on the $10K funeral, then they each have to pay in $3,333 into it. And that is all he should be liable for.

blueiedgod said:    but NY state does not allow burrials without a casket.

Sound like some effective lobbying by Big Funeral.

You're dropping a corpse into the ground, what possible difference could it make if you throw some wood in with it or not? It's probably better for the environment not to include a bunch of lacquered wood and man made fibers....

ganda said:   blueiedgod said:    but NY state does not allow burrials without a casket.

Sound like some effective lobbying by Big Funeral.

You're dropping a corpse into the ground, what possible difference could it make if you throw some wood in with it or not? It's probably better for the environment not to include a bunch of lacquered wood and man made fibers....



the casket is supposed to make sure the body *stays* down there. During floods, bodies and body parts used to float up out of the mud. Thus, caskets are required.

soundtechie said:   ganda said:   blueiedgod said:    but NY state does not allow burrials without a casket.

Sound like some effective lobbying by Big Funeral.

You're dropping a corpse into the ground, what possible difference could it make if you throw some wood in with it or not? It's probably better for the environment not to include a bunch of lacquered wood and man made fibers....



the casket is supposed to make sure the body *stays* down there. During floods, bodies and body parts used to float up out of the mud. Thus, caskets are required.


I find that to be odd logic. When we get floods down in the south, the caskets also float up out of the mud and float downriver. Always weird news stories of people seeing floating caskets during flood season.



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